Sugarmen – Dirt

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With a sound which has a healthy eighties feel to it as well as a modern tenacity and enterprise, UK indie band Sugarmen unveil a rather enjoyable and infectious introduction to themselves via debut single Dirt. It is a rousing and feisty slice of pop rock but equally has a calming melodic tempting to create a nicely rounded and memorable first meeting between ears and the Liverpool quartet.

Sugarmen was formed by songwriters/guitarist Luke Fenlon and Chay Heney, soon concluding their openly creative line-up with bassist Tom Sheilds and drummer Sam McVann. Their inspirations are reflected in their record collections according to their bio and includes flavouring from the likes of Hooton Tennis Club to Peace, Parquet Courts to Alvvays, The Velvet Underground to Wild Beasts, and The Clash to Orange Juice, and it is this latter band which sprung to mind listening to Dirt, they and others like Josef K, The Farmers Boys, and The Bluebells. They were all bands capable of writing and creating the most contagious and blemish free pop songs and though it is only one song, Sugarmen suggest they have that quality too.

DIRT pink   Since forming, the band has played with the likes of Sleaford Mods and Paul Weller whilst this coming June will see them supporting both Blur and The Who in Hyde Park as well as playing the Dot To Dot Festival in May. The Sugarmen sound has also caught the ears and attention of Mick Jones (The Clash / BAD) who after hearing the band’s demo tracks, produced ten songs including the single with them; it all occurring in Paul Weller’s studio which he donated for the recordings. It is fair to say that the band is standing at the point of real attention and potent spotlights, a door Dirt makes the ideal key for.

The song opens on a strum and the vocal prowess of Fenlon, a gentle but potent coaxing which teases for a short while before a stab of sonic tenacity sparks the band into a lively and magnetic stroll. The bass of Sheilds is instant flavoursome bait with its throaty lure matching the striking appeal of the guitars in its own individual way. Hooks and chords, sonic colours and rhythmic jabs all converge on ears with captivating enterprise and contagious endeavour, ridden by the harmonic roar of Fenlon’s vocals and the backing of the band. A sniff of Arctic Monkeys makes a hint to join essences of those mentioned previously but the truth is that Dirt has a voice and character which is primarily Sugarmen and, as their live presence, increasingly persuasive.

Expect to hear more of and from the band ahead, and we suspect in increasingly potent doses.

Dirt is available now via Poor Old Soul Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirt-single/id978569563

https://www.facebook.com/sugarmenuk   https://twitter.com/Sugarmenuk

RingMaster 19/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

The Birdman Rallies – Wild Sisters

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If you can resist the opening resonance of beats which opens up Wild Sisters, the new single from the UK’s The Birdman Rallies, then you have formidable resistance as alone it is a seriously irresistible temptation. It is only the first of a fluid weave of instinctive seductions which makes up the fascinating offering from the North Yorkshire quartet though, just one lure in a melodic bewitchment.

The song is the second single taken from the Harrogate band’s recently released and acclaimed album Real River. It is a transfixing album putting the band finally on the radar of a great many, though The Birdman Rallies has been recruiting eager attention and hearts to their highly flavoursome sounds since 2009 across a host of releases. Their self-titled album in 2008 made the first temptation, followed by the You And I EP a year later, but it was second album Moons which in 2012 sparked keener awareness and following of the band. Their sounds still eluded many though, including us, with Real River providing the remedy to that issue, now reinforced by Wild Sisters, the successor to the first single from the album, Telescope Katie. Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Webster recently described the new single as, “a poem written on a night out in Cork, Ireland, where the women are made differently to where I grew up. I observed these three sisters, dancing wildly, letting it go on a weekend in a strangely old-fashioned way. There was nothing cool or try-hard about it. The song wrote itself, with requisite yearning.”

As mentioned at the start, Wild Sisters has its infectious hooks in from its first breath with the rhythms and electronic beats of drummer David Armstrong alongside the multi-instrumental skills of Adam Westerman (guitar, vocals, keyboards, drums, glockenspiel). It is not a single strain of bait for long though as the equally delicious and earthy tones of bass from Ash Johnson are soon adding their irresistible throaty charms to the enticing. Magnetism does not come much stronger or persuasive and both aspects continue to almost tauntingly seduce across the length of the song. Around them melodies and harmonies soon bloom within the contagion, Webster and Westerman creating warm harmonies to match the emotive caress of strings provided by Angellina Bjerregard and Nicky Woods, and the reflective character of guitar and keys. Thoughts of XTC come to the fore as the song explores even greater enterprise and creative emotion; an essence soon confirmed when reading after listening to the song that the Swindon band is a favourite of The Birdman Rallies alongside others like Field Music.

Wild Sisters continues to enthral and delight right up to when it takes its leave on the same magnetism it entered upon, leaving ears glowing and appetite hungry for more. It is a reaction sure to be felt by most immersing in its summer embrace, with an exploration of its source, Real River, the only subsequent option, apart from diving back into the song one more time first.

Wild Sisters is out now with the album Real River available @ http://thebirdmanrallies.bandcamp.com/album/real-river

https://www.facebook.com/thebirdmanrallies

RingMaster 30/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Cléo – Pinball Machine

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A song which leaps through ears with all the energy and excitement of a carnival, Pinball Machine is one of those singles which simply gets under the skin. The new release from rock popper Cléo, the track with its tenacious punk like character and full on fun attitude is not necessarily a brand new adventure for the pop world but certainly makes for an enjoyable and captivating escapade.

Cléo is a Brazilian bred singer/songwriter/ actress/dancer who now resides in London. The list of inspirations on her creativity and music is long and includes the likes of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, No Doubt, Pat Benatar, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Green Day, Foo Fighters, and Linkin Park. These are flavours at times openly colouring her shapely sound but equally, and certainly with Pinball Machine, Cléo has her own rich vein of distinctive creativity lighting up her music too. 2013 saw the release of the extremely well-received Unlucky Girl EP, an encounter converting more fans, media, and pre-assuming critics to the visually and aurally vibrant presence of Cléo. Now Pinball Machine is poised to stir up ears and attention once again and such its charismatic and mischievous enterprise, it is hard to imagine it luring a new rush of interest.

Cléo is the initial temptation in the single, her raucous call the spark to short choppy riffs, jabbing beats, and a thickly provocative bassline. It is a potent coaxing with a great almost predatory nature to it, an edge leading ears and appetite into the swiftly looming frisky chorus where harmony soaked vocals and melodies bounce with energetic eagerness.

As it continues to flirt with its more shadowy side as well as magnetic festivity there is that constant, almost Gwen Stefani like, familiarity to the song yet tempering that, Pinball Machine offers subtle twists of attitude and latent aggression which turns the offering into something personal and invitingly individual to Cléo. Quite simply Pinball Machine is a persistently alluring proposition from a lady we can expect to hear much more of in the future.

Pinball Machine is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pinball-machine-single/id959356901#

http://www.cleospage.com/

RingMaster 01/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

 

Sara Lowes – The Joy Of Waiting

Photo Credit Emily Dennison

Photo Credit Emily Dennison

There is no other way of saying it, the voice of Sara Lowes is sheer mesmerism, an inescapable siren drawing the listener into adventures which musically transfixes ears and imagination just as potently. Her new album The Joy Of Waiting, is complete evidence of the fact, basking in these bewitching elements and in turn immersing the listener in charming and imaginatively charmed embraces. The successor to her acclaimed debut Back To Creation of 2011, The Joy Of Waiting is a quite simply a soul mate for anyone with a taste of melodic and harmonic alchemy.

Based in Manchester and North East bred, Lowes is the keyboardist in The Earlies and has working with the likes of Daniel Johnston, King Creosote, Jens Lakeman, Jim Noir, Jesca Hoop, and Dawn Landes on her CV. Her music draws on a diverse maze of flavours and styles, classically bred arrangements entwining and invigorating essences from progressive rock to pop, jazz to seventies psychedelia, and more besides. First album Back To Creation, as mentioned drew potent praise and support which The Joy Of Waiting can only emulate and reap greater rewards upon itself. Inspired by J.B Priestley, with a track using his name as a title, and looking at “observations on our perplexing relationships with time”, the lady’s new full-length is a spell of beauty and evocative reflections, and quite breath-taking.

The album’s title track starts things off and immediately is flirting with gypsy folk like strings which swirl provocatively around ears and emotions, their colourful expression joined by just as picturesque keys and melodies. There is a baroque like scent to the piece of music too, an older drama which wraps around the more fiery and sultry climate which emerges as the song continues revealing its heated landscape. Eventually the song drifts away and within a swift taking of a breath, the album swings straight back as Most Things and a riveting pop contagion which is soon dancing with the compelling tones of Lowes its puppeteer. The track is a ridiculously infectious kiss, a quite magnificent encounter courting sixties beat pop vivacity as fizzy tendrils of carnival-esque keys sport a creativity which reminds of The Stranglers Dave Greenfield.

Lowes has a voice which is hard to compare to another, though on the first songs and a few others tracks, she bears a resemblance to Brighton singer songwriter Cate Ferris, the following new saralowes2single I Find You another blissful example. The song is a smoulder of thickly simmering melodies and enchanting harmonies over a great distortion kissed rhythmic tempting. Keys again bring psyche spinning enterprise to spice up the song’s enthralling canvas, whilst the ethereal radiance of voice and surrounding sweltering sounds merge like a mix of Solar Halos and The Capsules. It is pure creative majesty and has ears and appetite enslaved by the time it makes way for the courtly hug of JB Priestley. Lowes straight away has ears and pleasure cupped as orchestral spices back her sunny presence, the opening gentle lure a passage into a feistier but no less radiant stroll of warm jazz seeded pop catchiness. As across all songs, there is a tapestry of different flavours and styles colluding in their support of the vocals, each song as here, as unpredictable as it is immediately accessible and magnetic.

The intimate balladry of Bright Day smooches with the senses next, its refined texture and voice a warm glaze over ears, even if not quite igniting them as its predecessors do. That success, is sublimely achieved by Chapman Of Rimes, a seventies bloomed pop rock flight with celestial harmonies and bold hooks under a blaze of brass seduction, and even more so right after by the excellent With A Mirror. The opening lure of bass and keys with rolling rhythms is enough to seduce unbridled attention for the new song, helped all the more by the vocal hints which whisper within the sultry enticement and rays of brass bred sunshine which light up ears. Like being lost in your lover’s arms, the song strokes and infuses body and thoughts with a romancing croon of voice and sound. That alone would be enough to wax lyrical about the song but with unpredictable and superbly infused twists of ideation amidst wrong-footing turns, the song is a master-class in songwriting and aural theatre.

Given the hard task to follow such a triumph is Little Fishy, and it makes easy work of keeping enjoyment clasped. From a celestial yet intimate soundscape cast by wistful keys and harmonies, the song emerges as something akin to progressive rock and lounge/electro pop, weaving its own virulent aural carnival.

The quiet reflection of For The Seasons calms things down next, the captivation a haunting ballad with a 10CC breeze to its air, before Cutting Room Floor slips into ears and simply radiates elegance and beauty whilst adding further fascinating diversity and invention to The Joy Of Waiting. The song is a gorgeous soar of melodic enterprise setting up the listener enthusiastically for the final pair of songs which are seemingly placed in different order on the physical and digital copy of the album.

The Clock Plays It’s Game provides a melancholic temptation which blossoms with the dark and light suggestiveness of strings against the just as potent call of Lowes’ voice and classically dramatic keys. Maybe not as immediately impacting as other songs, it is a lingering kiss increasing its stature with every listen, whilst Horizons is a track which just lifts emotions and spirit with sublime craft and open relish. Its swirl of hooks and melodies is a gala of folk pop smiles and sixties pop merry making and quite sensational. Whether the last song on the album or not, we suggest you make it that anyway as you leave its company with a song in the heart and melodic manna in the ears, a remedy sure to cure all ills and chase away dark shadows, much like The Joy Of Waiting as a whole really.

The Joy Of Waiting is available now via Railings Records, digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-joy-of-waiting/id963782296 and physically @ http://www.saralowes.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/SaraLowesMusic

RingMaster 25/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

The Permanent Smilers – One Real Big Identity Crisis

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One Real Big Identity Crisis, the new album from UK band The Permanent Smilers, is a release with no apparent direction or framework to its intent and enterprise; a release which basically lives up to its title but boy is it a slab of irresistible fun. Through thirteen songs, band and album take on a torrent of different styles and nostalgic flavours which really should not work alongside each other as coherently as they do, and all come with a humour and mischief which adds to rather than overrides the adventure of the individual characters. It is slightly deranged but not chaotic and thoroughly unpredictable yet not messy considering the vast sounds employed from song to song. Most of all though it is simply a compelling proposition which comes from left-field, keeps its heart there, and leaves the most enjoyable experience in its wake.

There is little we can tell you about the band itself, though The Permanent Smilers is fronted by Richard Lemongrower who was the songwriter behind Norwich band The Lemongrowers, a band releasing two albums on Noisebox at some point in time. Produced with Jonny Cole and mixed by David Pye, One Real Big Identity Crisis takes little time in lighting ears and imagination, though it opens with maybe its weakest song. That is a little misleading as it takes a song to get a handle, or try to, on the release anyway but certainly Identity Crisis did not really grip attention as much as elsewhere and left thoughts with a slight wondering of what have we got ourselves into. Strongly swung rhythms and similarly intensive riffs clasp ears within the first breath of the song, their bait a jabbing lure against the unpolished yet engaging tones of Richard. It is an easily flowing and energetic slice of rock ‘n’ roll with the bass of Jonny Cole pungent bait at the centre of the stomp. Truthfully there is little wrong with the song but it lacks a spark in its presence which evades the reaction it probably deserves and is easy to imagine being found with others.

The good if unsure start is soon a thing of the past as Uh-Oh takes over with its festive folk swagger and emerging carnival like devilment. Sporting a splash of Tankus The Henge to its relaxed but vibrant stroll, the song is a constant swing of melodic hips as it moves towards an unexpected and mouth-watering slip into a Dukes of Stratosphear like ethereal psychedelic charm and climate, returning back into festive mood soon after as if it had just emerged from a dip in the sea. The song is fascinating and bewitching, and just the first of numerous adventures into different landscapes, as shown next by the punk pop devilry of You Know Where To Go. Bred from seventies power pop and carrying a mix of The Flys and The Lurkers to its hookery, the song just hits the sweet spot with its insatiable energy and mischief, before making way for the more relaxed melodic embrace of Elastic. The keys and guitars of Richard weave another enthralling web of sound here, this time with a sniff of sixties pop to it which is punctuated by the crisp beats of drummer Pete Fraser and dark bass lures of Cole. By its close, the song somehow becomes a thumping anthem without losing any of its melodic and gentle elegance, a potent feat for any song to offer.

Both Just No Good and It Doesn’t Work Anymore keep album and ears bouncing with energy and pleasure, the first using a garage rock spicing again teased by a sixties almost Doors like toxicity, whilst the second again spawning from the same kind of seeding brings a rawer punk grouchiness with its presence. Each has feet and emotions joining their rigorous coaxing before Ghosts allows a breather for the body if not the imagination with its Simon and Garfunkel meets Burt Bacharach like embrace. The brass persuasion of Dave Land seductively flames over similarly captivating keys and vocal caresses through the song but as always there is a scent of devilment to the song with thoughts wondering at times if they should be enjoying this as much as they are. There is no escaping its thick charm though.

The next pair of songs brings a rich sense of XTC to their enterprise and persuasion, Rebel broadening that over time with a seventies kissed soar of progressive fuelled psyche rock whilst its successor, Voodoo has the stamp of Andy Partridge to its flirtatious pop and virulent enterprise. The pair leaves nostalgia glazed lips licked and, through the latter especially, ears basking in psyche pop of the most delicious kind complete with jazzy brass and funk spirited unpredictability.

You Know When To Go dives straight back into punk infused rock ‘n’ roll for its brief but sparkling instrumental before Unforseen manages to conjure an encounter which recalls the quirky indie pop of The Monochrome Set and the plainer but no less tasty essence of Tom Robinson. The song alternatively stomps and swirls around ears, every passing hook and melody it conjures an intriguing and quaint yet voracious tease before it moves off into the distance allowing the outstanding See Through You to make its lingering mark. Acoustically shaped with an avalanche of panzer gun delivered rhythms, the song initially is a smouldering and majestic sway of sound. It subsequently explodes though into a tempest of energy and revelry which only lifts a great song to a heady plateau. Imagine the volatile energy of De Staat at their most devilish with the epidemic hunger of eighties punk/power pop and you get a sense of the glorious treat.

One Real Big Identity Crisis closes with the acoustic lullaby of Sleepyhead, the album ending as it started with a track which does not catch the ardour triggered elsewhere but certainly graces ears with tantalising propositions. This album is one unexpected and seriously enjoyable adventure; not breaking down boundaries or venturing into the unknown but never providing a moment when you are not surprised or wrapped up in its refreshing simplicity woven by skill and invention. There is only time left to lick lips all over again as we close off and dive straight back into The Permanent Smilers’ irresistible arms, something we suggest you do too upon release.

One Real Big Identity Crisis is released in April via IRL Records with new single Identity Crisis out in March.

http://www.thepermanentsmilers.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Permanent-Smilers/1539697962929725

RingMaster 23/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

SeaWitches – Stars

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On the surface Stars, the new single from UK band SeaWitches, is a simmering lake of melodic radiance but look deeper into its depths and the song is a discovery of compelling shadows and rawer, almost predacious textures. Making a strong first impression but becoming more fascinating and captivating with every embrace, the song also suggests Liverpool has yet another tantalising proposition blossoming in its musical heritage.

The seeds to SeaWitches began with the meeting of Jo Herring (vocals/guitar/bass) and Laura Caldwell (bass/guitar/keys through friends in 2007. Their creative talent and musical passion SEAWITCHES ARTWORK PRINT finalsoon united and from being initially called The Woods, brought SeaWitches to the Liverpool music scene. Drummer Tilo Pirnbaum joined the band in 2012, a year also seeing the release of their well-received debut, the Spacegun EP. Since then venturing successfully further afield into places like Manchester and London, the band last year unveiled new guitarist Jamie Jenkin and second EP Tear back the sky, again to potent responses and praise. Now the quartet casts Stars on the country through Edge Hill University’s The Label Recordings, run by Carl Hunter of The Farm and assisted by media students, the song a blaze of radiance sure to catch a host of new appetites and lure further eager attention.

The song’s first breath brings a rich melodic enticing complete with a spicy hook which would not be out of place in an Echo and the Bunnymen offering. Alongside it though a dark throated bassline brings a more post punk flavouring whilst vocally and infectiously the song has a whisper of The Passions to its discord kissed pop. Similarly though a shoegaze ambience and dark folk temptation manages to loudly whisper within the feisty and pungent energy of the song, more flavours emerging with each passing moment in the potent underbelly of the increasingly bewitching and riveting encounter.

In many ways Stars is a puzzle to explore, a seemingly warm enticement leading to more unpredictable and slightly turbulent sinister explorations but thick exciting rewards. SeaWitches spin a spellbinding hex through their new single and we suggest they and we can expect big things ahead.

Stars is available via The Label Recordings from 16th February

https://www.facebook.com/SeaWitches/

RingMaster 1602/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU37ylCYa-A

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

The New Southern Electrikk – Brown Eyes

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Listening to the trio of songs making up The New Southern Electrikk debut single, is like being immersed in a kaleidoscope of sound, each song offering a different light and colourful adventure to another. The release is an unpredictable proposition and a bewitching one, revealing why a vibrant buzz around the UK band from fans and media alike but equally suggesting we have barely scratched the surface of their depths and creative imagination. It would be wrong to say the single blew our fuses but once romanced and seduced by Brown Eyes and company, it is impossible not to have a healthy intrigue and appetite towards The New Southern Electrikk sound.

With the likes of Goldblade’s John Robb, the single released on his Louder Than War Records, The Lemonhead’s Evan Dando, and Suede’s Bernard Butler amongst fans caught by the band’s melodic spell, The New Southern Electrikk have ears and imagination engaged almost from the first melody stroking ears from within Brown Eyes. It is single guitar bred flirtation with just a percussive whisper alongside but a coaxing soon broadening into a sixties melodic melodrama of emotion and smouldering elegance. The song was inspired by a dark moment in the life of keyboardist Rikki Turner fourteen years ago when a woman he loved left his life as The Shirelles’ Baby It’s You was playing in the background. The former Paris Angel musician wrote the song’sPicture 110 lyric and melody soon after and there is no escaping a sixties girl group like charm in the music of the track or the soulful angst of that moment in time in the captivating delivery of vocalist Monica Ward. The melancholic basslines of Steven Tajti only add to the shadows, their melancholy courting the lean but potent melodic colours cast by guitarist Zack Davies. Evocative within a sultry climate, the gentle but imposing croon of the song with its Shangri-las like finale gets right under the skin, not necessarily setting a fire but working away over time as hooks and vocal moments persistently return in thought and memory.

The following landscape of The Theme to the New Southern Electrikk immediately ventures into new realms, keys weaving a psychedelic ambience around Krautrock scenery. It is only part of the soundscape though as a post punk seeded bassline swings its morose invention around crisp and uncluttered rhythms from drummer Jim Correy. Similarly a Morricone-esque tang simmers within the melodic wine of the again slightly sixties pop coloured instrumental too, it all aligning for a tantalising and compelling flight for ears and imagination to bask in and explore time and time again.

Completed by a mesmeric version of The Gun Club’s Mother of Earth, The New Southern Electrikk’s first single is rich magnetism. There is something for everyone within its spicy creativity and the minimalistic textures which offer new shapes and persuasions with each song on offer. Expect to hear a lot more of this fascinating band in future.

Brown Eyes is available now via Louder Than War Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/brown-eyes-single/id960367750

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Southern-Electrikk/1566182530283214

RingMaster 16/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today